January 14th, 2008
09:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Blitzer: Stunned by readers' response

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/14/art.wolfb1.cnn.jpg caption="CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - I must say I was stunned by the amazing reaction to my request Friday for suggested questions for the upcoming Democratic Presidential debate that CNN is co-sponsoring with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina next Monday night, January 21. So far, we have received some 2,000 comments. I am not surprised that almost all of them were serious and well-informed.

I have always had high confidence in our CNN viewers. I know you are smart because you wouldn’t be watching The Situation Room and all of our other CNN political coverage if you weren’t. There are simply too many other options available to all of you - ranging from sitcoms, to sports, to silly talk shows. Our viewers are intelligent and that certainly came through with your comments. You can take a look at them yourself. If you take the time, you too will be impressed.

Let me assure you that our team is going through all of these suggested questions, and we will select some of them for the debate. We will also use your ideas to formulate some other questions. You’ve raised serious issues and Suzanne Malveaux, Joe Johns and I are taking them very seriously. This has been a great opportunity for us to know what is on your minds, and we are grateful to you for the help.

Throughout my journalistic career, I have always cherished the fact that I am blessed with a front-row seat to history. I have the opportunity and privilege to ask important newsmakers tough and important questions. In the process, I see myself as our viewers’ representative. You might not have that chance, but I do - and I take it very seriously.

By the way, if you'd like to see some of the questions already asked, you can read them by clicking here. Thanks again.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (662 Responses)
  1. AC

    For Mrs. Clinton

    2 Women – One needing a liver transpant, the other wanting an abortion. Under your plan, would both be able to CHOOSE their own Doctor?

    January 15, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. Riley from St Louis

    Comment: Racism will endure until we stop thinking in terms of groups and begin thinking in terms of individual liberty.


    What would you say to individual like me that believes the federal government as an institution is particularly not suited to combat bigotry. That bigotry is a problem of the heart, and the federal government cannot change people's hearts by passing more laws and regulations.

    What would you say to individuals like me who believes it is the federal government that most divides us by race, class, religion, and gender. Through its taxes, restrictive regulations, corporate subsidies, racial set-asides, and welfare programs, government plays far too large a role in determining who succeeds and who fails. That the federal government 's "kindness" crowds out genuine goodwill by institutionalizing group thinking, thus making each group suspicious that others are receiving more of the government loot which leads to resentment and hostility among us.

    As president would you be open to solving racism by individual liberty? Liberty which means a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty that means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence – not skin color, gender, or ethnicity? Would you be open to a free society where every citizen gains a sense of himself as an individual, rather than developing a group or victim mentality? Would you lead in promoting a sense of individual responsibility and personal pride, making skin color irrelevant?

    January 15, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. matthew

    Question goes to all candidates:

    The country is in a recession. Because you personally are not in it, does not mean it does not exist. Why is it taking so long for government to a) achknowledge the recession is here and b) have some type of plan to get us out of it?

    January 15, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. davidloftis

    Which one of you can say you never voted into law something that is clearly against the constitution? what should we do to politicians that do not uphold their oath of office for passing these laws?

    January 15, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  5. Mike

    Have them define, with a specific figure, how they define "middle-class" when talking about "middle-class tax cuts." $50,000, $80,000? Don't let them dodge around, because there is going to have to be a number. Also, consider asking Sen. Clinton whether she will include life insurance proceeds in determining someone's income. I was told that her husband did so or was going to do so when he was President and took a position on tax cuts. Not sure if the latter issue is accurate, though.

    January 15, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  6. Marcel Dillom

    This question is for all candidates

    this is a two part question

    i was wondering if you were elected how whould you curve goverment waste. While stimulating the economy and growing and keeping jobs here because we can cut taxes all we want for any gruop in the the tax brackets, but it is not going to anything if people are losing their jobs

    January 15, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. Nathan, Erie, MI

    This question is for John Edwards:
    As a presidential candidate who is concerned with the US trade deficit, aren't you you also concerned with the negative impacts of protectionism in a global economy?

    January 15, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  8. Patrick

    Question to all:

    As President would you be open to tax credits, through the Family Education Freedom Act, making it easier on home-schooler parents by allowiing them to devote more of their own funds to their children's education?,

    January 15, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Dale

    Why do ask for change in the system when your not in Washington tring to make that change for the American people. But, when you are there I don't see anything thathas your name on the "new bill" that ask for that change. Come right out out and tell the, American People, whjust what action, what you will vot fore to make that change in our country. How aare you going to bring back jobs to this country when you don't own the conpany th haires the people. Do more that just talk but let us see some action via your voting power on the HILL.

    January 15, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. Glenda Gray

    Please ask each candidate:

    Honestly, is it more important to you for a Democrat to become President or for YOU to become President? If your answer is the former, then explain how it is at all wise to tear other Democrats apart trying to get there.

    January 15, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. Chris, Albany, NY

    Regarding veronica...I'm a loyal CNN watcher and through CNN I have followed the campaigns, and I have to say over the past year to year and a half most of the positive spinning going on was geared toward the Clinton campaign...Obama has been receiving barely any coverage except for the past month or so. Anyways my question would be: Oil seems to be the source of many many many problems the US has(war, energy issues)...what steps would you mandate to help alleviate our dependence on oil?

    January 15, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. clifford townsend

    If this is the place to ask my question of the candidates, here goes. I live near Charleston, SC. I am retired, single, have no children, have no mortgage, no credit card debt and got out of the stock market. I would like to know what the candidates will do for seniors who suffer every time the fed reduce the interest rates that in turn reduce the interest rates we recieve on our CD. Trying to help one group at the expense of the other is not what my government needs to be doing. How will you remedy this inequity.

    January 15, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. Justin

    My question is for Edwards:

    I hear in his speeches that the deck is stacked against the little guy, and that class mobility just isn't possible because there are 2 Americas (I'm paraphrasing). But to show that he understands the little guy, he frequently describes how he grew up with his father working in the mills his whole life, and John was the first in his family to go to college. If John Edwards can go from rags to riches as a successful attorney, what is keeping other people from doing the same thing? Why aren't we using Edwards' life as an example of the social mobility that is still possible?

    January 15, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. Sean Preston

    My Question is for all the candidates:
    If one of you is elacted as nominee and eventual president, who do you think would make best Vice-President among the people on the stage with you now? Please name 1 person only.


    January 15, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Alan

    Some say the key to sound environmental policy is respect for private property rights. That no one is allowed to pollute his neighbor's land, air, or water. If you agree with this key environmental issue than why does the US so blatantly commit to preemptive wars which pollutes our adversary's land, air and water and in return has a global affect on our allies and ourselves?

    January 15, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. Rob from Ohio

    To all candidates:

    There is a lot of concern over pleasing religeous factions in campaigning these days. What would you say to the 10% of US citizens who are Secular/Agnostic/Atheist to gain their support?

    What are your feelings on separation of church & state?

    Please state your religeous affiliation.

    Do you allow your religeous beliefs to greatly influence your policies?

    Would you consider a secular choice for your running mate, given proper qualifications?

    Which do you believe to be more prevalent, State's rights, or Federal Autonomy?

    January 15, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  17. Caroline

    As a Black woman voter I really agree with Mr. Aubery Tucker and would like Hilary Clinton to answer the following questions.

    1) Regarding your claim of 35 years of experience please delineate what you count as experience. Is is the years at the law firm? the years as first lady of Arkansas or the White House? or is it your 1 term in the senate?

    2) What legislation have you sponsored that has become law? Which one do you think has had the greatest impact on American Society?

    January 15, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. Colleen Kansas City, Mo

    I'd like to know what kind of cars they own? American or not

    January 15, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  19. Dr. Lewis Perelman

    David Walker, Comptroller General of the United States (the nation’s chief financial officer), warns that America now stands at the edge of a fiscal meltdown. In short, as the first of America’s 70 million baby boomers are about to start retiring, the country faces the prospect that 70% of the federal budget by 2030 will be spent on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other entitlement programs. By 2034 those programs will consume 20% of the nation’s entire gross domestic product.

    Add in the cost of servicing the trillions of dollars of debt the U.S. government has already racked up and there will be virtually no money left to pay for defense, education, public health, transportation, environmental protection, law enforcement, or any of the myriad other things citizens expect the government to do.

    QUESTION FOR ALL CANDIDATES: What combination of tax increases and spending cuts do you propose to avert this fiscal disaster?

    January 15, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  20. Strengths and Deficiencies

    To: All Candidates

    Re: Strength and Deficiencies

    I would like each candidate to list at three strengths of the Democratic Party and Republican Party and three areas of deficiency/weakness of the Republican Party.

    I would like them to tell me where they believe each party needs more work and cite examples that are a good examples where Republicans and Democrats worked together to bring about good.

    January 15, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  21. Brett

    This goes to the Republican candidates. How do you expect to cut spending while maintaining the military-industrial complex around the world?

    January 15, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. John from Indiana

    Each of you admits that the way the two parties and the Senate and Congress do (or not) business is broken. The old way of thinking and doing business no longer works. Yet, isn't the way you have treated one another and the candidates from the other party just same old? You in fact are continuing to perpetuate the same system with the same thinking, rhetoric and behavior. What you say and do oes not convey "common ground", "bridge building", "reaching across the isle". The "isle" is a quagmire.

    January 15, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. Strengths and Deficiencies

    Oops... I had a typo – here is the corrected version.

    To: All Candidates

    Re: Strength and Deficiencies

    I would like each candidate to list at least three strengths of the Democratic and Republican Party and three areas of deficiency/weakness for each the Democratic and Republican party.

    I would like them to tell me where they believe each party needs more work in opening up themselves to bipartisan collaboration and cite examples that are a good examples where Republicans and Democrats worked together to bring about good.

    January 15, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. Jonathan Sharp

    Please ask each candidate the following:

    Will you pledge to balance the Federal budget every year that you are President of the United States? Why or why not?

    January 15, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  25. Ted

    Since 9/11, the United States has been unable to locate Osama Bin Laden. What will the next President do to bring this person to justice for the murders of over 3,000 innocent Americans?

    January 15, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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